OZARKS ELECTRIC: As a line of severe thunderstorms have moved through the area, Ozarks Electric members to the east of Fayetteville are experiencing power outages. Currently 846 consumers are without power and three crews are in the field to determine the cause. There have been reports from the field of possible tornado activity.
Additional crews have been dispatched to the area to restore power.
Updates will be sent as details become available.
The stronger storms are expected to develop in Oklahoma and move into east. The reason the storms aren’t severe right now is because the strongest upper level winds haven’t moved over the area. Also, as the line of storms develops out west will intensify as the cold, air-cooled air congeals into a cold pool of air and moves east.
Would expect intensity to increase in the next few hours.
We have been watching for the possibility of storm firing ahead of the main line. That look to be happening now. The SPC will likely issue a new tornado watch for SE Ok and the River Valley. The tornado threat with these storms will increase throughout the late morning into the early afternoon.
One rapid update model that we look at is showing the possibility of more storms forming ahead of the main line this morning across eastern OK shortly before noon. If these storms form, they could become severe.
Getting the first look at what the atmosphere looks like over NWA. This is a sounding from Springfield, MO. The atmosphere looks similar over NWA. On the right side of the screen I’ve highlighted what the winds looks like, and there are turning with height…in other words there are winds that are spinning at you go up in the sky. This could lead to brief tornadoes along the leading edge of the storms.
Instability is starting to increasing across eastern OK and parts of NWA. There is also plenty of low level wind shear present. These 2 factors will increase the severe weather potential of the storms that will move in later this morning and early afternoon.
One thing that I am keeping an eye on is low-level wind shear. The 0-3km shear is high in our area, and that has me concerned for the possibility of quick spin up tornadoes along the leading edge of the squall line.
4AM Update: We are watching storms developing to the west this morning from northwest of Tulsa back into western Oklahoma. These storms will continue to build and intensify throughout the morning as they track our way.
The entire area is under the threat of severe weather, with the eastern River Valley under an enhanced risk of severe weather. The red color is a moderate risk and it is issued rarely during the winter months.